Algeria’s newly appointed president has set July 4 as the date for the country’s postponed presidential election, according to state media.
The announcement on Wednesday came a day Abdelkader Bensalah was appointed as interim president for 90 days, replacing long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika who stepped down last week in the face of mass protests against him.
Bensalah, who will not be able to run in the election, signed a decree on the vote shortly after taking the post on Tuesday, Algeria’s official news agency APS reported.
In a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, the 77-year-old pledged to deliver a free and transparent election within his tenure and said he hoped the vote would return a president committed to building a new Algeria.
Bensalah also announced plans to urgently create a “sovereign” body, with the help of the political class and civil society, to help lay down the required conditions for an “honest” process.
His appointment, however, failed to quell protesters, with thousands on Wednesday taking to the streets of the capital, Algiers, to call for a complete political overhaul.
Demonstrators have repeatedly demanded the departure of a coterie of individuals closely-linked to Bouteflika’s administration, including the so-called “three Bs”; Bensalah, Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui and head of the Constitutional Council Tayeb Belaiz.